Showing posts from January, 2016

If you want to go far, go together

There is a Ugandan Proverb that says: 'If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together'.  We've had to constantly remind ourselves of this during the past week at our MOMENTUM project workshop where the Royal College of Midwives' UK consultants came together with their Ugandan counterparts to develop a shared understanding of mentorship, explore some teaching and learning theories, consider the context of Ugandan midwifery (where maternal mortality is 438:100,000 compared to 9 in the UK and 4 in Sweden) and finalise workplans for the next 5 months.  It's all too easy for us to fly in, require our partners to drop everything to escort us around and attend our workshop, and expect our plans to be their top priority.  We can tend to be results and outcomes driven, rather than learning from our twins about the importance of relationship, of respecting cultural traditions and putting family first.  We try to remember that that building capacity and…

Negotiating Access for Action Research

I’ve now been back in Uganda for over a week and the team is growing.  Eleanor, the RCM’s Global Projects Officer, arrived on Thursday and tomorrow we will welcome Dr. Lucie Byrne-Davis and Dr. Jo Hart from Manchester University’s ‘Change ExchangeProject’ who are working alongside our MOMENTUM mentorship action research project, helping us to maximise the effectiveness of health behaviour change interventions.
Due to double-booking at the lovely Emmaus Guest House, and to enable our UK midwifery consultants to stay together as a team, Eleanor and I have moved out to the ‘Christian Glory Guest House’ down the road.  So far it has been rather un-glorious but it’s only a bed – we are taking meals with the team and out all day. Our consultants headed out to their project sites for the past two days, meeting their ‘twins’ with whom they will work together, face to face and remotely, for the next 18 months and seeing the context, opportunities and challenges of their workplaces.  We’re exp…

Building MOMENTUM in Uganda

I'm back in Uganda, my 7th stay here since joining the Royal College of Midwives 3 years ago and so in many ways it feels like coming home.  Our new MOMENTUM (Developing a MOdel of MENTorship for Ugandan Midwifery students) project will be officially launched next week and tonight 7 UK volunteer midwife consultants, members of the RCM, will be arriving for four weeks to take up their roles in supporting the development of midwifery mentorship in Uganda.  In the first week they'll be meeting their Ugandan 'twins', seeing the challenges they face and gathering some baseline data.  Some will be in Kampala but others will be based at hospitals, clinics or Universities further afield.  The following week we will all come together for a workshop to launch the programme with various dignitaries, to share ideas, identify challenges and opportunities and set workplans for the next year.  I'll be leading the workshop with our partners, the Uganda Private Midwives Associatio…